Posts tagged growth
Nobody’s Perfect: Why Relationships Depend on Making the Charitable Assumption

Even with the best of intentions, people accidentally hurt. We all put our foot in our mouth, step across the line from critique to insult, or make ill-timed or distasteful jokes. Our default position must be to never assume malicious intent. When friends, loved ones, or even a perfect stranger hurt our feelings we must assume that they were simply incompetent, ignorant to our feelings, and ill-equipped to navigate the emotional terrain.

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Feed The Right Wolf: The Undeniable Pull of Influence

We have access to the wisdoms of ages and... we have the Kardashians. How we choose to invest our attention says something about us, but even more importantly, it determines who we are becoming. Saturated in advertisement, social media, reality tv, and gossip driven news, we are literally allowing other people to turn us into who they want us to be. If these experiences dominate our conscious hours and those of the people we surround ourselves with, then who are we becoming? Our modern environment effectively brainwashes us to pursue deeply ungratifying ends that leave the masses controlled by dependency and addiction. The good news is we also have more power to change our trajectory than any time before. All the wisdom of human history is a few keystrokes away. We can move countries, change jobs, adopt new hobbies, join charities, enlist in the reserves, or begin to learn almost anything.  Now more than ever we need boundaries and intentional lifestyle design. We need to feed the right wolf!

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Friday Musings: Smarter Tools. Dumber Brains?

Humanity is reaching a point where so many tasks are outsourced and comfort is so certain that dependency has far outpaced the acquisition of new skills. Technology makes life easy, but it often discourages people from honing basic human capabilities. Smarter tools can lead to dumber brains, or, with a better approach they can scaffold our minds to heights previously unreachable.

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Stop Trick-or-Treating and Grow Up

Don’t get angry at community members for uttering the obvious: “Aren’t you too old for this?” Cue the indignant parental response: “It isn’t fair to my baby for people to ask that.” Actually it is completely fair. If your high school junior wants to dress up as Maui and ask for Twix, that’s cool. He just better be ready for some raised eyebrows. I wouldn’t get offended if the bank teller looked at me weird when I asked for a lollipop, or the mall Santa told me to get off his lap. It’s part of growing up. Still, many believe it is their role to fight all battles, thus perpetually delaying maturation. Adulthood and self-reliance, rather than exciting goals for our children, have been transformed into a dreaded expiration date that society is trying to fend off as long as possible. It is the overgrown children who pay the price.

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Stimulus and Growth

Movement and fitness parallel life. If you are not actively thinking about and trying to improve your fitness you are allowing it to deteriorate. The standard American diet, office life, and limited to non-existent movement practice that comprises a “normal” life fall far short of what true thriving requires. Like a vitamin missing from a poor diet, if you are not actively seeking novelty, modern life hardly provides enough.

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Friday Musings: Great Expectations May Prevent Happiness

You expect to be able to drive 15 miles in 13 minutes while listening to your favorite music and enjoying perfect temperatures. We rarely stop to appreciate it, but this is truly remarkable within the scope of human history. When any one of these factors is not delivered, we are aggravated. “What the heck, spotify!”

Unrealistic expectations create unhappiness. Despite the highest standard of living in human history, anxiety, depression, drug overdoses, and suicides are each at an all-time high. Modern unhappiness does not stem from lack of luxury. Having problems doesn’t cause unhappiness. It is that we expect not to have problems, or inconveniences, that causes unhappiness.

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Friday Musings: When It's Time to Discard and Replace

Just because its the way it’s always been, doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be. 

Patterns, habits, and traditions persist for many reasons, not all of which are functional or productive. Maintain reverence for the way that you currently live, but remember that the highest form of loyalty is to question how things could be better.

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